Formosan Black Bear

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The Formosan black bear (Ursus thibetanus formosanus), also known as the white-throated bear, is a subspecies of the Asian black bear. Formosan black bears are endemic to Taiwan. In 2001, they were voted the most representative wildlife of Taiwan in a half-year-long countrywide voting campaign. They are also the largest land animals and the only native bears in Taiwan. Because of severe exploitation and habitat degradation in recent decades, populations of wild Formosan black bears have been declining. This species was listed as "endangered" under Taiwan's Wildlife Conservation Act in 1989. Their geographic distribution is restricted to remote, rugged areas at elevations of 1,000–3,500 metres (3,300–11,500 ft). The Formosan black bear is sturdily built and has a round head, short neck, small eyes, and long snout. Its head measures 26–35 cm in length and 40–60 cm in circumference. Its ears are 8–12 cm long. Its snout resembles a dog's, hence its nickname is "dog bear". Its tail is inconspicuous and short — usually less than 10 cm long. Its body is well covered with rough, glossy, black hair, which can grow over 10 cm long around the neck. The tip of its chin is white. On the chest, there is a distinctive yellowish or whitish mark that is shaped like a "V" character or a crescent moon. This earns it another nickname — "moon bear".

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